Alright so southern Turkey is hot. Like crazy amazingly hot. I headed down south to visit this cool castle on the sea at Kizkalesi. And I did see the castle, though from the beach. My plan after that had been to head further down the coast to visit some other beaches/towns. But once again Turkey=HOT. And not the fun hot, the OMG I’m dying, please kill me now hot. So I decided the hell with this, I’m heading back to Sweden early. This is how the trip went.
9 AM Kizkalesi to Mersin: I checked out of my hotel and headed back down to the main raod to catch the little van into Mersin. A helpful/slightly creepy dude had me sit down on the pavement telling me the bus would be by in 10 minutes. 30 seconds later he’s yelling at me to run as the van is heading down the street right now. Yay! I hop on and head to Mersin.
10 AM Mersin to Adana: I luck out once again at Mersin, with a super helpful driver that takes me across the parking lot and over to the next street to catch the van to Adana. Trip is going well so far!
11AM Adana Bus to Adana Airport: This is where things start to go downhill. I find a tourguide that speaks english who tells me that if I go across the parking lot, over the pedestrian bridge and down the stairs I can find a van that goes to the airport. This way I won’t have to take an expensive taxi. Sweet! I head across the parking lot, over the pedestrian bridge and down the stairs and find a van waiting there. I ask the driver if he goes to the airport which he kinda doesn’t understand So then I do the miming action for plane and he grins and yells for me to get in. Well he yells in Turkish and it seems like he wants me to get in.
So we spend the next 30 minutes driving through the town picking up passengers along the way when things get a bit interesting. I can tell that the driver and some other guy passengers are starting to talk about me and they seem to be in some kind of argument. They keep asking me where I’m going and I keep trying to explain. Miming the whole airplane thing again, ZOOM! Not working. Finally he stops the van, and yells at me to get out. And then two guys get out with me, grinning and pointing that they will show me the way. Ummm guys we are in the middle of the city. I don’t think the airport is right here but sure, I’m game. So they start leading me across the park thats right there. It’s a big park and I can tell it backs up to the river. Where the hell are we going?!?! Finally we reach the end of the park and the edge of the river, and then they point across the river. To the gigantic Hilton Hotel. Evidently by raising my hand up in the air for “airplane” it meant “Hilton Hotel.” Who knew?
So I walked, with my two escorts, all the way through the park, across the river, up to the hotel, sweating like crazy by the time I got there. They were so so happy at delivering me to the hotel, it was super cute. After they walked away, the valet walked up to help me check in. I had to explain that those guys were trying to help me get to the airport, and so they brought me to your hotel. He looked a bit confused, but in true valet fashion offered to call me a cab. So one hour later, I was in a taxi heading to the airport. Should have just taken one in the first place.
12PM Adana to Istanbul: Since I was unaware what time I would be making it into the airport in Adana, I hadn’t bought a ticket to Istanbul yet. So when I finally got there, I headed up to the ticket counter. I had checked online before I left and knew of several flights that day and basic prices. It took the poor counter girl several minutes of broken english to finally explain to me that their airline only flew to the ASIAN side of Istanbul, not the EUROPEAN side I wanted. Bless you for sticking with it and getting me to where I wanted to go. She even pointed me towards the correct airline to get to the European side. Thanks again! My flight wasn’t until 4PM so i had some time to kill. I used it to change into a next outfit that wasn’t soaked from my trek through the city. Yay for new clean clothes! And a coke.
5PM Arrival in Istanbul: Since I had arrived in Istanbul ahead of schedule, I found my bag and settled down in a wifi zone to find a flight to Sweden. I lucked out and found one that evening that would stop in Vienna and then onward to Stockholm. It didn’t leave until midnight so I had some time to kill. I found a super bar & grill with free wifi and spent a few hours watching the latest soccer (sorry football) match and boozing it up. Hmmmm airport beer always seem to taste good.
9PM Checkin for Flight: Ok so in all my time at the bar, I neglected to actually download the email for confirmation for my flight. Oops. This game back to bite me in the ass when I tried to checkin. While my flight was headed by Austrain Air, that leg was by Turkish Air, which means I had to stand in the longest line possible. It took almost a full hour for me to get to the front and then the poor checkin girl can’t find my reservation. I had written down the confirmation number but didn’t have the actual email in front of me. She took my conf number and headed over the supervisor. They were gone for over 15 minutes and I’m starting to freak out! I don’t want to buy a new ticket but I don’t know what’s going on. Finally the girl comes back over and everything is fine. She’s trying to explain what happened but she just smiles, and hands me my ticket. Oh ticket, how I love you.
Midnight Istanbul to Vienna: I had a 5 hour layover in Vienna, while waiting for my onward flight. I managed to find a quietish lounge where basically everyone was sleeping. Curled up on a bench and managed to catch a few hours. Eventually I was freezing and couldn’t sleep anymore. Why do they always keep the airports so cold?! Amyways, with one hour before my flight, I went to find my gate. Along the way I realized that I had to go through immigration HERE and not in Sweden. Thankfully it didn’t take long or I would have missed my flight. Crazy EU.
5AM Vienna to Stockholm: I got into Stockholm around 7AM and since this is the third time I’m flown in here, I’m slightly a pro. I head right to the information desk to see about catching the train up north. The lady is desperate to figure out who to get me to my final destination of Nordingra but I’m traveling on a Saturday. Evidently Swedes don’t travel on Saturdays, so the bus situation up north is not good. Finally the best she can do is get a train to Sundsvall and then a bus onto Harnosand.
10AM Stockholm to Harnosand: While waiting for the train up north, I finally decide to give Pontus a call since he’ll have to pick me up. And he had no idea I was arriving that day. Problem? The man turns off his damn phone while he sleeps and hasn’t gotten up yet. So now I’m freaking out, thinking I’m going to end up in a tiny little town up north and no ride. Thankfully he calls back and is thrilled to pick me up! Yes! I am not stranded!
3PM Harnosand to Herrskog: This last leg was in a car and I’ve never been happier to not be in public transport anymore. Cars are a beautiful thing! So after 20 hours of travel I was up in northern Sweden. Sometimes I think I should go for the more expensive version and get there faster, but then where would the fun be?